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Dodgers NLCS: How Should Los Angeles Deal With Joc Pederson?

Joctober is back, but this time in Atlanta.



Dodgers fans know what Joc Pederson is capable of every time that he steps out onto the baseball field. But fans in Los Angeles REALLY know that he comes alive in October and consistently has huge moments. They call it Joctober for a reason. 

Joc spent the first 7 seasons of his big league career playing with the Dodgers. In that time, he hit 9 postseason homeruns, including 5 in the 3 World Series he played in with Los Angeles. To say that he is the definition of a clutch hitter might be an understatement. 

But if anyone knows how to deal with Joc, it’s the Dodgers. They know his weaknesses and they know the type of pitches that he can be baited into. But how should they approach him for the National League Championship Series?

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The best answer seems to be deploying left-handed pitchers. But even that has changed drastically since his days with the Dodgers. Joc hit .265 in appearances against southpaw pitching in 2021 between the Cubs and Braves. But he still has his weaknesses. 

Offspeed stuff is where Joc has an issue. He has hit .165 against sliders this year and .167 against curveballs. Alternatively, Pederson crushed fastballs as he always has in his career. He hit .262 against the heat this year, so don’t expect the Dodgers to give him the opportunity. 

You can walk him, you can throw southpaws against him, and you can toss him plenty of junk. But do NOT throw the man a single fastball. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Geez, all these authors are reading my comments for stories lol. I write comments and two days later they show up as stories lol. Hmmm

      • Paul, I will never forgive the FO for letting Kike go! He only has 11 postseason HR’s…8 in Dodger blue! Wtf were they thinking?? Whatever he wanted you say ok! Guys like that don’t grow on trees!!!

        And he was only a gold glove defender at multiple positions too!

          • Drrrrrrrr, wasn’t willing to let him be a starter. He wanted him as his super Utility player and Kike’ left. Plain and simple. Can’t cry over spilled milk. CT3 will be next, but don’t worry we have Mckinney , Mckinstry and Souza ready to fill the void like Drrrrrrr had them do this season…

          • Kirk, you might have seen this but I’m going to repeat it again…my hypothesis is that someone (don’t know who) held Kike partially responsible for the injury to Cody in the post HR celebration last year. Maybe I’m way off, but maybe not. Hmmm

          • That’s a silly idea, that anyone would hold Kike responsible for Bellingers injury. Just dumb. The reason they let Kike go is because they planned to replace him with McKinstry and you can’t re sign every player, it would cost too much and waste the farm system.
            I’ve said this before, the plan is to replace free agents with players from the minors. When you don’t have a player to fill a hole THEN you sign a free agent. JT is a perfect example, no 3 rd basemen ready in the minors so they re signed him.This front office also signs generational players like Mookie, Kershaw, and Trae?

            They also sign inexpensive, useable veterans like Freese, Utley and Pujols to add experience ,mentorship and clutch performances. So the question remains, will Pujols be useable enough?

          • Willy, why would anyone in there right mind try and replace a PROVEN PLAYOFF PERFORMER! That’s what just doesn’t make any sense, I’m sorry. Those kinds of players just don’t grow on trees! Kike wasn’t THAT expensive to re-sign! Need to think return on investment! Red Sox certainly did! Nice job FO!

  2. How should we deal with Joc?

    If he is still wearing his pearl necklace, as he comes to the plate, check to see if he has his heels on. If so, anything you throw him, he will swing and miss.

    If not, anything you throw him, he will swing and miss 90% of the time.

    A broken clock is right twice a day, and so goes Joc at the plate.

    God Bless Kike!

    • How to treat Joc? No high cheese! Just ask Butane. Buehler tried to sneak a heater past Joc at the Ravine and Joc tomahawked one about 25 rows up the right field pavilion on a pitch that would have sailed the backstop had he missed it lol. Buehler’s post game interview: “well we all know what Joc’s capable of” lmao!

    • He hit .382 with OPS .991 for the entire 2020 post season.

      Sure SOUNDS like more than “swing and miss 90% of the time.”

  3. How do you deal with Joc? Don’t worry about it, but if you face Kike? Intentionally walk him 4 times!!!

    13 HR’s and counting! All he’s doing is re-writing the history books!

    2 years and $14m? STEAL OF THE CENTURY!

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